IndustryBrains – Profile
HQ: New York City
Founded: February 2002
Management: CEO and President Erik Matlick had the good sense to leave Ziff-Davis, the chronically underachieving tech publisher. He must have some IndustryBrains.
Investors: Media industry insiders; most notably Mike Perlis, another guy who was wise enough to leave Ziff-Davis, where he served as CEO for a stint. Who hasn’t been CEO of Ziff-Davis? Perlis is now at Softbank, praying at the altar of Masayoshi Son, inventor of the 1000 year business plan.
Business Model: All clicks are not created equal – or something like that. While Google and Overture give advertisers access to an enormous audience, IndustryBrains goes for a more refined approach. The company offers private-label ad networks on well-known media properties like Businessweek and PCWorld. It’s Google with an elitist flourish – bring high-quality advertisers together with high-quality publishers, all the while retaining the efficiency of the contextual ad model. Publishers like the idea because they can jack up CPMs and advertisers like it because they know their links aren’t being served up on RickysPornShack.com. IndustryBrains is also baking its listings into RSS feeds.
Competitors: Quigo, Kanoodle
Additional Dirt: We like the idea of a more refined Google AdSense, but you still need a critical mass of advertisers and publishers. The IndustryBrainiacs undoubtedly have a nice PowerPoint presentation that shows a path to enviable growth — but they’re going to have to sign up many more publishers for the math to work.